The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) hosted an event last week in celebration of World Hydrography Day 2018, organised in partnership with the Museum of Somerset. The event was free to attend and was aimed at showing the local community the importance of hydrography and the vital role it plays in our lives.
The event offered a range of maritime-themed activities for both children and adults – from guessing marine mammal sounds to navigating around obstacles by calculating depths. Elsewhere on display was an augmented reality sandbox showing hydrography in action, with responsive contours projected onto the sand that moved in real-time as it was moved and sculpted by guests.
From the UKHO’s archive were a number of historical items on display and a film with old footage of chart printing. A re-enactment of an 18th century sailor firing a musket was also conducted in front of audiences, and members of the Royal Navy displayed two autonomous marine robotic systems.
Alia Weir, Head of Corporate Marketing Communications at the UKHO, commented:
“World Hydrography Day provides a valuable opportunity to show the importance of hydrography and why it is essential for almost all activity in the marine environment – from safe navigation to managing marine resources.
“We are proud to demonstrate to the local community some of the world-leading work we do here from the heart of Taunton, whether it’s the nautical charts that we have produced for over 200 years, or the cutting edge marine geospatial data that we handle today.”
First established in 2005 by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), ‘World Hydrography Day’ is celebrated annually to increase public awareness of hydrography and the work of hydrographers around the globe. The theme for 2018 is “Bathymetry - the foundation for sustainable seas, oceans and waterways”.
The UKHO will hold a national event in October, held in London. This evening reception will be attended by senior Government officials and key stakeholders in marine, science, academic and cultural industries.